The YDMA voted to endorse the Great Neighborhoods Call to Action and Endorsement of Principles. Great Neighborhoods urges the Legislature to pass a bill this session that will strengthen “Great Neighborhoods” across the state by reforming the Commonwealth’s planning, zoning and permitting laws. We call for state leaders to make this legislation a top priority of the 2017-18 legislation session. A successful bill must meet the following principles:
- Make it easier for young families and seniors to stay in their communities by providing housing choices. These could include more multifamily housing, accessory apartments, and artist live/work spaces. Families should have the opportunity to live in the community they prefer without discrimination. State rules and incentives should encourage vibrant places that are welcoming to all generations.
- Promote healthy, active communities with good access to open space and protections for critical natural resources. Local zoning must encourage compact development patterns that are more walkable, bikeable, and transit-friendly. By planning where we grow, we can reduce sprawl and protect our farms, forests and waterways to ensure that future generations can enjoy them. Provide cities and towns with the tools they need to plan for the future so they can take on their fair share of the region’s growth while improving local finances and quality of life. More resources, clear authority and sensible procedures are needed to support local planning and zoning.
- Establish predictable permitting rules that will help small businesses, property owners, and municipalities make investments to keep our economy and communities strong. Important goals include minimizing court battles, reducing the cost of development, and responsibly and transparently sharing the costs and benefits of growth.
For more information on Great Neighborhoods check out their website at great-neighborhoods.org